Gold steadied on Friday but stayed near its lowest in six weeks and remained on track for its biggest weekly drop since December, hurt as the euro weakened on disappointing data from Europe.
Gold was little changed at $1,634.89 an ounce by 0039 GMT, after falling to $1,632.34 on Thursday, its weakest since early January.
Worries over appetite for the metal also dragged. Global gold demand fell last year for the first time since 2009 as jewellery buying abated in the key Indian and Chinese markets, and as U.S. and European coin and bar investment dropped, the World Gold Council said on Thursday.
U.S. gold was also little changed at $1,635.40 an ounce.
The euro zone slipped deeper than expected into recession in the last three months of 2012 after its largest economies, Germany and France, shrank at the end of a wretched year for the region.
Asian shares eased on Friday, with investors turning cautious as the weak euro zone growth data presaged the G20 meeting in this session and on Saturday in Moscow. The euro nursed heavy losses on Friday in the wake of the data.
U.S. crude futures were steady above $97 a barrel on Friday, holding a slight gain from the day before on encouraging U.S. jobless data and concerns over U.S. gasoline supply.